Navy Secretary says that US Navy may need to choose between arming itself or Ukraine 

Navy Secretary Carlos del Toro is ‘concerned’ that within the next six months the US Navy won’t be able to arm both itself AND Ukraine – urging contractors to boost production to meet the demand

  • Navy Secretary Carlos del Toro admitted there are ‘concerns’ about America’s weapons supply as the US continues to arm Ukraine
  • He said that if the conflict in Ukraine continues for the next six month it will ‘stress the supply chain’
  • Del Toro urged military contractors to increase production
  • Adm. Daryl Caudle also accused military contractors of using the pandemic as an excuse not to supply weapons on time

Navy Secretary Carlos del Toro admitted that there are ‘concerns’ about America’s weapons cache as the government continues to arm Ukraine.

The Secretary was asked at a Surface Navy Association Conference on Wednesday whether he agreed with an admiral’s statement that ‘The Navy might get to the point where it has to make the decision whether it needs to arm itself or arm Ukraine.’

He was very careful not to comment on the possibility of a choice between which country to arm, according to Defense One, but noted that ‘if the conflict does go on for another six months, for another year, it certainly continues to stress the supply chain in ways that are challenging.’

Del Toro ultimately blamed military contractors, saying they need to boost production to meet the demand. 

His admission comes just days after the Biden administration announced it was sending its largest aid package to Ukraine yet — despite the Kremlin previously warning of ‘consequences’ to escalating the war.

Navy Secretary Carlos del Toro admitted that there are 'concerns' about America's weapons cache as the government continues to arm Ukraine

Navy Secretary Carlos del Toro admitted that there are ‘concerns’ about America’s weapons cache as the government continues to arm Ukraine

He said that if the conflict in Ukraine continues for another six months to a year, it will stress the supply chain 'in ways that are challenging'

He said that if the conflict in Ukraine continues for another six months to a year, it will stress the supply chain ‘in ways that are challenging’

Del Toro replied to the reporter on Wednesday asking about Adm. Daryl Caudle’s comments by saying, ‘With regards to deliveries of weapons systems for the fight in Ukraine — Yeah, that’s always a concern for us. And we monitor that very closely.’

He continued to say, ‘I wouldn’t say we’re quite there yet, but if the conflict does go on for another six months, for another year, it certainly continues to stress the supply chain in ways that are challenging.’

But, Del Toro noted, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks has been working ‘very closely with [the defense] industry to motivate them to find out what their challenges or obstacles are to be able to increase their own production.

‘It’s obvious that, you know, these companies have a substantial pipeline for the future.

‘They now need to invest in their workforce, as well as the capital investments that they have to make within their own companies to get their production up.’

The Navy Secretary later reiterated his comments in a series of tweets, once again urging military defense contractors to boost their production — but this time acknowledging the military defense contractors have made progress,

He said Hicks ‘has been super focused on this. Along with Bill LaPlante, the undersecretary, they’re starting to make some progress now.’

And once the military defense companies invest in ‘their people, their workforce as well as their capital investments… we’ll be in a better place.’

‘How long that takes varies often weapon system to weapon system.’ he acquiesced.

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks

Undersecretary of Defense Bill DePlante

Del Toro noted that Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks and Undersecretary of Defense Bill DePlante are working with military contractors to boost production

The war in Ukraine has been raging since February, with the United States continuing to arm the country in its fight against Russia. Members of the Ukrainian military are seen here on Wednesday using a rocket launcher to stave back the Russians

The war in Ukraine has been raging since February, with the United States continuing to arm the country in its fight against Russia. Members of the Ukrainian military are seen here on Wednesday using a rocket launcher to stave back the Russians

Among the weapons that the US has provided Ukraine are a number of Bradley tanks, like the one seen here

Among the weapons that the US has provided Ukraine are a number of Bradley tanks, like the one seen here

But Caudle was not as forgiving to the defense contractors, noting that the timeliness of weapons deliveries could have real impacts on both the defense of the United States and of Ukraine.

Adm. Daryl Caudle hit out at defense contractors for using the pandemic as an excuse not to meet deadlines for weapons

Adm. Daryl Caudle hit out at defense contractors for using the pandemic as an excuse not to meet deadlines for weapons

‘I’m not talking about what it’s doing to me, I’m talking about, of course we’re going to help a country — deliver the stuff we need — so they can win that conflict against Russia and it’s not going to destroy and set [us] back to the Dark Ages.’

Still, he continued, ‘I’m not as forgiving of the fact that you’re not delivering the ordinance we need.

‘All this stuff about COVID this, parts this, supply chain this, I just don’t really care,’ he said at the conference. ‘We’ve all got jobs.

‘We’re talking about war fighting and national security and going against a competitor here and a potential adversary that is like nothing we’ve ever seen and we keep dilly dallying around with these deliveries.

Caudle concluded, ‘I don’t see good accountability and I don’t get to see good return on investment from the government, I really don’t.’ 

On Friday, the Department of Defense announced it was sending its largest aid package yet to Ukraine. US President Joe Biden is seen here speaking with Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky last month

On Friday, the Department of Defense announced it was sending its largest aid package yet to Ukraine. US President Joe Biden is seen here speaking with Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky last month

 On Friday, the Department of Defense announced it was sending its largest aid package yet to Ukraine.

The package — valued at more than $3 billion — includes 50 fighting vehicles, 100 armored personnel carriers, 18 self-propelled howitzers as well as other munition.

It came in defiance to Putin’s warning last month that there would be ‘consequences; if the United States continues to supply Ukraine with advanced military technology.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the U.S. had ‘effectively become a party to the war.’ 

The transfer of such sophisticated weapons, she added, ‘would mean even broader involvement of military personnel in the hostilities and could entail possible consequences.’

 She did not specify what those consequences might be.

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